My 2017 Report Card

Remember what it was like to check your final report card online? There's the mounting dread that the curve may not have worked out in your favor, and everyone is going to ask you about what grade you got and you'd never get a job because you got one B+? 

I think I still have nightmares about those moments. There was so much pressure to achieve the highest grade, when in the end, the effects of a good grade were minute. A high grade in O-Chem means nothing when you walk into your first job or first big presentation. 

However, when it comes to internal goals, I've loosened the belt. I set lofty personal goals to push myself out of my comfort zone. I may not achieve everything, but at least I tried

So, let's see how I did on my 2017 goals:

Here's my 2017 Report Card:

·      Go on my first mountaineering adventure (for those of you who don't know, that means crossing glaciers with ice axes and shit)—Yes!

·      Try surfing— Yes!

·      Explore Iceland— Yes!

·      Don't dye my hair ever again.....— Yes!

·      Go canyoneering (rappelling through canyons) in Utah—This never happened :( But it will in 2018!

·      Snowboard like mad (that means more than 2x in a year for me)— Yes!

·      Backpack/hike through the Narrows, Grand Canyon, Colorado and Glacier National Park—Partially...never got to make it out to Utah or Arizona

·      Climb Half Dome and Mt Whitney again—Yes!

·      Take my family on a surprise trip—Sadly no. I've tried but there are a lot of internal forces from allowing me to do so. To be honest, I don't even know how probable this goal is. 

·      Weave altruism into my travels—No, but I am planning this


So that leaves me with a score of 6.5/10. Definitely worse than a B, but I'll take it.




What Have I Done With My Time

Half of the year has dissolved in front of my eyes. As I get older, my perception of time becomes more pronounced. I focus on the invisible grains of sands filtering through the hourglass, hoping that my intense attention will slow them down. But the opposite occurs—I see them speeding faster and faster and I feel as if I am being pulled into the hourglass with them.

I often think that once my time through the hourglass is almost done (i.e. when I am old and time is finally in tune with my cadence), I want to look at my collection of memories as if they were jewels in a treasure box (actually, the more appropriate simile for me would be chocolate in a candy box). I feel restless when idling my time—it’s like wasting money in my eyes. This is why I’m always on the run, trying new things and seeing new places.

So on that note, let’s see how well I made use of my first 6 months of the year.

#TBT to my 2017 Wishlist:

·      Go on my first mountaineering adventure (for those of you who don't know, that means crossing glaciers with ice axes and shit)—Yes!

·      Try surfing— Yes!

·      Explore Iceland— Yes!

·      Don't dye my hair ever again.....— Yes!….maybe

·      Go canyoneering (rappelling through canyons) in Utah—This will happen

·      Snowboard like mad (that means more than 2x in a year for me)— Yes!

·      Backpack/hike through the Narrows, Grand Canyon, Colorado and Glacier National Park—Planned….definitely won’t do all of this

·      Climb Half Dome and Mt Whitney again (due to a certain request)—This will happen

·      Take my family on a surprise trip—This will happen

·      Weave altruism into my travels—Haven’t weaved it into travels, but I have encouraged friends to start donating! Does that count?

Alright, so 7/11 so far. Here’s to setting goals and going through with the commitment. And that’s saying a lot for someone who tends to bail on plans on a disappointingly regular basis.

Let's see what comes my way in the second half of the hourglass' spin.



When Your Thoughts Take Over

Sometimes, I wish I was a dude. Not because I don't like dressing up, wearing makeup or having to go through monthly internal battles within my body (maybe I can skip that part actually). 

I just want to not think for once. And at least from what I've read--and experienced--guys don't think as much as girls.

During my time out in the wilderness or putting one foot in front of the other in my attempt to run, a transformation takes place. I'm suddenly banned from the outside world, sucked into a vacuum and shackled by my ankle to the beast of my thoughts.

It's quite ironic--I go running or hiking to escape the confinements of life in a cube to find myself imprisoned in mental version of one.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in a constant wrestling match with my thoughts--but I do pine for that silence, or "zen", that some are privileged to enjoy. 

See, the issue is that for someone like me who allows my negative thoughts to have a voice louder than my own, I have a predilection to let them determine my actions. Often times (this was more frequent back in college), that means talking myself out of doing something.

Yes, I've gotten more brave and have taken more risks, but the weight of those thoughts that I drag along try to remind me that I'm still the same timorous girl that I was a few years ago. I fight it all the time, especially when I'm presented with an opportunity that scares the hell out of me and turns my hair (even more) grey.

This is perhaps a symptom of maturation--maybe I'm just going through the awkward puberty stage of blooming into an adult.

Or maybe.....I'm just a girl.